US Muslim group says Egypt 'Backsliding' on reforms

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CAIR: No 'business as usual' in dealing with undemocratic regimes

(WASHINGTON, D.C., 3/28/07) - A prominent national Islamic civil rights and advocacy group today criticized the Egyptian government for "backsliding" on democratic reforms.

The Washington-based Council on American-Islamic Relations (CAIR) also rebuked the Bush administration for seeming to return to a policy of appeasing autocratic rulers in the Muslim world.

On Monday, Egyptian voters were asked to cast their ballots in favor of constitutional amendments that will, along with other measures, end independent judicial oversight of elections, restrict the formation of political parties and give the government powers to arrest and spy on citizens without a court order.

The Egyptian government claimed 27 percent of voters turned out to cast their ballots, but human rights groups said the real turnout figure was 3 to 5 percent. There are also allegations of vote rigging and ballot stuffing. Opposition parties boycotted the vote.

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